Audiologists say 30 percent of people over the age of 60 experience some hearing loss, but many are slow to fix the problem.
It all comes down to a stigma surrounding hearing aids. Hearing aids come in a variety of shapes and sizes. In fact, some are so small they are barely visible when placed inside a person's ear canal.
Despite being inconspicuous, audiologist Steve Chargo says many people with hearing loss are still hesitant to admit they need one.
"Unfortunately, hearing loss and wearing hearing aids is one of those things that people do associate with aging," Chargo said.
Bottom line, Chargo says people don't want to feel old.
"The average person waits from the time they are diagnosed with a hearing loss, sometimes 5--7 years before they actually do anything about it," he added.
And the longer you wait, the worse it gets. Chargo says that paying a visit to the audiologist before any major signs of hearing loss can be beneficial in the long run.
During a typical appointment, Chargo will use a camera to examine the inside of a patient's ear. Next is a series of hearing tests in which he plays beeps at different frequencies. The patients press a button every time they hear one of those beeps.
After that exercise, one final test in which the patients hear a man's voice reading off words. After the voice says one of those words, the patients just have to repeat what they hear, while Chargo keeps track of whether the words being repeated are correct.
At the conclusion of those tests, Chargo goes over the results with the patients and suggests his recommendation.
Meanwhile, audiologists say that symptoms of hearing loss include asking people to repeat a lot of questions, turning up the TV too loud, or having difficulty understanding people in noisy restaurants.
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